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Friday, 8 November 2019

Your Quiet Grief

Gone are the days of public grieving
Gone are the days of wearing your heart on your sleeve.
To the outside world, atleast to the ones who care about you
You are back.
A bit haunted perhaps
But you are back.
They breathe a sigh of relief
When they hear your unexpected laugh
Or when they hear you make a lame joke
Or see you smile.

Very few can actually see that the smile doesn't quite reach your eyes.
Your laughter is not as carefree or as spontaneous as it was.

The circle that get to see your inner grief
Your inner pain and anguish
Gets fewer and smaller
With the passing of time.
And finally you are left with none.

Do you shed a tear in front of your friends
And kill their buzz?
Or do you shed a tear in front of your mum
And crumple her balance?
How about your siblings
Who are grieving in private too?
Or maybe your partner
But how much more sadness does he need to bear
Looking at yours?
Or In front of your child
God no! Your child who is so sensitive to all your moods
And all you want to give him is your happy self.

So where and how do you grieve
When 
you see something that reminds you
Of the one you lost
A song that they liked
A book
Their favourite food
A place they wanted to visit
A beautiful sunset
A sublime moonrise

How do you stop the emotions from rushing through
Your very bones
Your very soul.
It's so much easier to grieve in private
Maybe in the shower
Your tears mingling with the bath water
Or under the cover of darkness
On a walk on the moonlit beach.

Where no one can see nor hear you
Except the one you lost.
Your own grief
Your own very quiet grief.



Image Courtesy: Tricycle.org



Thursday, 12 September 2019

The Deafening Silence


Just like that it's all over.
Over in a flash.

"Ash to Ash, Dust to Dust", the Priest murmured.
The remains were lowered into the grave
Handfuls of earth sprinkled
And the concrete slab closed with a thud.

Just like that there is
The deafening silence.
The silence of the void.
Internally and externally.

How scary it must be for the dead
To be lying 6 feet under.
Cold, Lonely
And alone.
So alone.
But maybe they don't feel anything
Their soul is already free, soaring high.
Higher and higher
To sunshine.
Away from the void, the chasm.

Maybe it's far more scary for the living,
The living have just started realising 

what it really means to be alive in this complex world.
Confused, Hurt, Bewildered and Lonely.
Unable to process
The silence from the dead
The silence from friends
The silence from relationships
The people that you thought would reach out in times like these.
Offer a shoulder to cry on,
Or a listening ear
Or a warm hug.

If that's too much
Even a courtesy message,
Even a simple 'Sorry for your loss'
Or maybe an emoji?

Something,
Anything,
To show that they care.
That they feel for your loss.
And they want to make things better for you
In their own small way.

Be there for you
However inadequate they may think their actions might be
But still have the courage to reach out.

Can't help but wonder
Who are your 'true people'?
Did the dying wonder about this in their last days?

But what's truly heart wrenching
Is the living asking themselves this question.
And having to live with the answer.
In the silence
Oh, the so deafening silence.


Image Courtesy: Graphic Foundry




Saturday, 20 July 2019

Neutralized



Date: In the future
Deceased Name: Sarah Alexander
Cause of Death: Death by Electrostatic Discharge


Have you ever pondered on how you might die? I have a morbid fascination to predict the cause of my death and in every scenario, I always seem to die due to a Static Electric Shock.

Static Electric Shock, you say? Is that even possible? Yes, it’s possible when your body is different and there seems to be an imbalance of electrical charges within the body. Even before I was old enough to realize what this phenomenon meant, I knew something was not right with me. From a very young age, I’ve been getting off static shocks and sparks off from everything you can imagine, any kind of material, in any kind of weather, in any kind of footwear. Which is the main reason why my hair is SO frizzy and curly and unmanageable ALL the time.

Whilst growing up in India, on our return from family outings, my dad would delegate the opening of the garage door to me. I would get out of the car, in the pouring rain, fumble to turn on the lights of the garage and garden, and finally when I touch the metal door of the garage door, pffttt, I would recoil in shock. No amount of begging or pleading or explaining would make my family understand why I wasn’t a suitable candidate for this task. Finally, my self-preservation took over and I flat out refused to get out of the car to do this task and someone else from the family had to do it. I used to think that maybe this had something to do with the loose earthing connection and the relentless rains there.

Fast forward a few years later and I’m in Ireland, working in a giant tech office where I’m confident that the earthing is sound. So again it does not explain why I get powerful shocks, whilst pressing the lift buttons, opening the taps in the washroom, sometimes even off my chair and laptop. Colleagues look on in amusement when I scream out “Ouch” every so often, or when I try to press the lift button with my elbow and not with my fingers (This my fellow sufferers, if there any more like me on this planet, is a useful trick. The electro statistical discharges are not that intense when you refrain from touching surfaces with your fingertips or extremities)

Recently, I was travelling on my own with my 3 year old. We had just got off a 7-hour flight and I was pretty proud of myself for managing the child alone. Our stopover was in Abudhabi (a long 6-hour layover) and I put my son on the metal baggage trolley and started pushing him through the airport. I leaned over to kiss him on his cheek and suddenly there was a loud CRACK, like a pistol shot, accompanied by a spark on his cheek where my kiss made contact.

Within 2 mili-seconds, the Emirati Airport Security surrounded me screaming “Get Away”, “Put your hands up in the air”, “What was that, explain yourself!”
My son was howling, rubbing his cheek crying out, “Mama, a bee bit my cheek” and I, shocked out of my senses, trying to explain to the Emiratis what just happened.

Seeing that I looked Indian, they started questioning me in rapid-fire Hindi or Urdu, not realizing my levels of incompetence in those languages. How do you explain the phenomenon of Static Electricity in English, never mind Hindi, when your hands are up in the air and guns pointing at you?

I started blabbering “Bijli, Bijli” (meaning electricity in Hindi), pointing out to my rubber-soled sneakers and the carpet and to the metal trolley. As if to disprove my theory, two other women sailed by, all wearing rubber soled sneakers, with their kids on the trolley, all smiles and happiness all around.

The Officers looked at each other and started scratching their beards perplexedly- They are not sure how to handle me, what level of threat I could be, what my mental condition is. Just then, a man who had been watching the proceedings, came to my rescue. He explained to them what he thinks might have happened and the officers finally consented to let me go. I would like to think that the man was an angel physics professor in disguise.

The officers kept a watchful eye on me all through the 6-hour layover in the airport.
All that time, my son kept asking me, “Mama, why did the bee sting my cheek?”
I started explaining to him what Static Electricity was all about but then I was so tired, I was like to hell with scientific explanations and just said “Because that was a bad, naughty bee”

Image Courtesy: Scienceworld.ca

Thursday, 16 May 2019

The Storm

They said to be strong
Be strong, they said 
For him, for the family
Don't show your tears
Don't cry
For that might scare him

They said that he had a good life until now
They said he has made a difference to the world
They said think about others who are struggling 
People much more younger than him 
Babies, Mothers, Young men
With no resources, in worser conditions

They said...

It could be true, everything that they said
But it still makes no difference to me.

I say 
I can't heal without shedding tears
Shed tears I must
I must roar at the sea, at the winds.
I can't stay strong because I may not be strong enough
I say it's too early
For this to happen to him.

Life, no matter what happens next
Will never be the same again
Happiness will never be the same again
Joy, Sorrow, Grief..nothing will be the same again

They who have passed through the eye of this storm
Know that they will never be the same again.



Image Courtesy: Home Depot

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Be Still

Be still my wandering mind
What are you constantly looking to find?
This quest for Knowledge
This quest for Learning
Can it be a blessing
Or is it a curse?

Be still my wandering heart
A lot of things you seek are already with and within you
Though a few things seem really beyond you
Accept what is to be.

Be still my wandering eyes
Stop looking o' er the bend, o'er the hills,
O'er the skies.

Be still my wandering ears
Choose not to listen and magnify your fears.

Be still.
Still.
Still is not stagnation.
It is revelling in the moment.

Contentment does not mean you are unambitious
Contentment does not mean you do not want to grow, learn, experience new things, ideas.

But on the other hand if we have been taught always to chase,
How do we be content?
Is ambition and contentment mutually exclusive or is there a way to balance it?

Or maybe the best thing to do is to ponder on what Buddha says
In the end these things matter the most,
How well did you love?
How fully did you live?
How deeply did you let go?

Still..

Source: Pintrest

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Lone Star

Lone star 
Shining bright in the dawning sky.
How many centennials did it take you
To attain your moment of glory.
To be the Lone Star
In the endless sky.

Lone star 
Shining bright
A beacon of hope.
Earthlings are looking upto you 
And making wishes.
I know I made many too over the years
To different lone stars,
And all have come true.
Others may call me superstitious, or a pagan or a fool.
But I believe in your power, Lone Star.

You were just one among the multitude of twinkling stars in the sky until today.
Some were bigger than you
Some twinkled brighter than you
Some shone in different interesting hues to you.
Yet, you persevered.
You knew your time would come.
You just needed to patiently wait 
And watch.

And now your time has come.
Shine bright Lone Star.
Shine with all you have.


Image Courtesy: ramblingeveron

Monday, 10 December 2018

Leave the Light On

I'll leave the light on for you
Just in case
When you come back home
You won't need to stumble on things that might have changed
Objects that may have moved
Or trip over strings that may have been broken.

I can only imagine the horrors that you might be facing out there, out in the battle field.
In these wars between nations, 
Between religions
Between corporates 
Between ideologies
Between normal people.

I'm afraid this might change you irrevocably.

Once you have navigated the Webs of Deceit,
Halls of Power
Misplaced ideologies
Empty words
Mounds of lies
Corporate bullshit.

Once you have seen traitorous politicians,
Deceitful friends
Shifty workmates
Unfaithful lovers
Adulterous marriages
False promises of 'now and forever' relationships.

After seeing all this, 
You can never be the same again, you will never be the same again.

I'm afraid this will make you more cynical, more mistrusting, more jaded with this world.

I'm afraid you are never coming back.

But when all this is over,
Even if it's never over,
I'm here for you.
I'll leave the light on for you,
Just in case.



Image Courtesy: LampsUsa